Jancis Robinson’s Wine Course, Episode 5 – Syrah aka Shiraz
Syrah is a dark-skinned variety of grape, is grown in many countries and is primarily used to produce powerful red wines, which enjoy great popularity in the marketplace, relatively often under the synonym Shiraz. Syrah is used both for varietal wines and in blended wines, where it can be both the major and minor component. It is called Syrah in its country of origin, France, as well as in the rest of Europe, Argentina, Chile, and most of the United States. The name Shiraz became popular for this grape variety in Australia, where it has long been established as the most grown dark-skinned variety. In Australia it was also commonly called Hermitage up to the late 1980s, but this naming practice caused problem on some export markets and was dropped.
As of 2004, Syrah was estimated to be the world’s 7th most grown variety at 142,600 hectares (352,000 acres), after having enjoyed a strong growth in plantings for several years.
Syrah should not be confused with Petite Sirah, a synonym for Durif.
This is the fifth episode of Jancis Robinson’s Wine Course, a beautifully filmed tour of the world of wine presented and written by Jancis Robinson and based in dozens of stunning locations on four continents.
Each of the ten half-hour programmes is centred on a major grape variety or theme but provides a complete wine education including how wine is made, tasted, stored and enjoyed.